Sunday, May 08, 2011

1991 Leaf Series 1

There's been lots of great stuff up here on the blog of late. I'm afraid I can't say that this will continue the run. After a run in the '80s as the Canadian brand name counterpart to Donruss (sort of the O-Pee-Chee to Topps thing), Leaf used the brand in 1990 to put out what is regarded as the first premium card set. This was basically the only thing passing as "high end" in those days. After a successful first year, Leaf tripped up a bit by (surprise, surprise) overproducing their cards and making them not especially attractive. Fleer Ultra arrived in 1991 as well as Topps Stadium Club, brands that lasted for decades. Leaf went through all sorts of designs and iterations, but I don't think anything ever really matched the demand (and price) of their first set.

Someone (not me) attempted and ultimately failed to pull off the price sticker of this pack, which originally cost $4.99. How do I know that? Because the first card in the pack has that price imprinted on it and someone clearly took a ballpoint pen to the price sticker after the sticker was put on the pack. I don't what compelled a person to do that.

BC8 - Henry Rodriguez Gold Leaf Rookies (Another relatively new concept at the time was the chase insert. Other products had inserts in them for many decades, but it was usually something to the tune of a one-per-pack sticker or tattoo or something. These were intended to be chased. I believe Fleer really started this idea back in 1986 with the Fleer All-Star Team cards, but it would be years before someone would really perfect the idea.)

212 - Rex Hudler (First regular card is a Cardinal, and here you get a look at the design which is not among my favorites. I think if you get rid of the silver border, the design gets a lot more interesting.)

207 - Ryne Sandberg

170 - Mark Grace (Does anyone else find 'Gracey' extremely hard to listen to during telecasts?)

165 - Dwight Gooden (If you look at his stats to date on the back of this card, you would find it hard to believe that he didn't end up in the Hall of Fame.)

160 - Carmelo Martinez

155 - Stan Javier (Stan is the son of former Cardinal Julian Javier, who also has two first names.)

210 - Rick Honeycutt (Here's a look at the back of the card, probably the best thing about these early Leaf sets. You get a second full-color picture and a full helping of stats in portrait orientation, not like Donruss's pesky landscape.)

206 - Tim Leary (Not the LSD advocate...)

199 - Kirk McCaskill (For some time I associated every person named Kirk with an obnoxious TV character of the same name on the late '80s/early '90s TV show "Dear John". I don't really know what else to say.)

256 - Greg Myers

251 - Milt Cuyler

175 - Chris James (Brother of ESPN's Craig James.)

169 - Scott Sanderson

55-56-57 - Harmon Killebrew Puzzle (Just like the Donruss packs, each one has a puzzle piece. These ones have a shiny foil base to them, however.)

1 comment:

Todd Uncommon said...

Nice link! I probably would have labelled him as "Mr. Kimberly Bell" or something along those lines.